Throwback Thursday: Ill-fated Matreco Hardware formed 20 years ago

Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature in which we dip into the Hardlines Weekly Report archives.

Hardlines reported on Nov. 3, 2003, that a new, full-line hardware wholesaler had been announced by Groupe BMR. Matreco Hardware would combine the hardware purchases of BMR in Quebec, TIM-BR Mart Ontario (as it was then called), and AWARD in Atlantic Canada. The main shipping point would be BMR’s warehouse in Longueuil, Que. The business plan was to reach $300 million in wholesale sales in three years. At the time, Matreco was an umbrella buying organization made up of the three groups. The wholesale division was the vision of BMR’s president at the time, Yves Gagnon.

Matreco Hardware was gone within two years. AWARD soon drowned in a sea of red ink and its membership eventually combined with TIM-BR Mart (now TIMBER MART), TIM-BR Mart Ontario did not support the new wholesale entity, and—truly spelling doom for the tripartite venture—the BMR DC in Longueuil burned down. The collapse of the hardware shipping division contributed to the end of Matreco as a buying group, too.